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- Highs Practical and cargo-friendly cabin, decent driving range with the larger battery pack, quiet when cruising.
- Lows Infotainment system isn't as intuitive as we'd like, unexciting driving dynamics, base model doesn't offer as much range as more expensive trims.
- Verdict The ID.4 is an electric car for the people, but it provides drivers little to get enthused about.
Volkswagen's electric car for the masses is the 2023 ID.4 SUV, and it nicely pairs practicality with comfort and adequate driving range to allow drivers to make the switch from internal combustion. We just wish its driving demeanor was more playful. Rear-wheel drive models come with one motor and 201 horsepower; opting for all-wheel drive adds a second motor and ups power output to 295. Maximum range is about 275 miles per charge, but the base Standard trim, while cheaper, pairs its more attractive price tag with a smaller battery and only around 208 miles of range. The more expensive Pro models come standard with DC fast-charging capability, which makes juicing up at public charging stations relatively quick and easy. The Standard trim doesn't get that feature, so if you're not able to install a level 2 charger at your home it would be best to avoid this model.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
What's New for 2023?
Volkswagen has moved production of the U.S.-spec ID.4 to its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee for the 2023 model year. The entry-level Standard model joins the lineup this year with an attractive base price, but it uses a smaller 58-kWh battery pack and comes with an estimated 208-mile driving range. Also new to the ID.4 family is the fanciest Pro S Plus trim, which adds luxury features such as heated rear seats, a three-zone automatic climate control system, unique 20-inch wheels, and a premium stereo system. All models now come standard with the larger 12.0-inch infotainment display that was optional last year and VW has peppered in several minor design enhancements such as gloss black exterior trim, updated wheel designs, and changes to the available paint colors. The center console has been slightly redesigned, interior upholstery options have been refreshed, and Pro S models receive illuminated Volkswagen logos on the front and back.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Although the new Standard model carries the most budget-friendly price tag, we'd opt for the mid-range Pro to help maximize the ID.4's range and unlock the ability to DC fast charge at public charging terminals. The optional dual-motor, the all-wheel-drive powertrain is worth the upgrade, too, as it boosts horsepower and improves performance.
EV Motor, Power, and Performance
With the single rear-mounted motor, the ID.4 makes 201 horsepower, but the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive model pumps out 295. Maximum towing capacity is a stout 2700 pounds. Regenerative braking helps recapture energy when slowing the vehicle, but the familiar one-pedal driving that EV drivers have come to appreciate is largely missing here, even in the ID.4's most aggressive regenerative mode. Also lacking is the traditional gut-punch acceleration that electric vehicles often provide. The rear-wheel-drive ID.4 isn't slow by traditional compact-crossover standards, but its 7.6-second run to 60 mph in our testing demonstrates that it's far more laid back than quicker EV competitors. Going for the more powerful all-wheel-drive model sharpens the ID.4's accelerative performance, as evidenced by its 5.4-second jump to 60 mph at our test track. The ID.4 handles less sharply than some other EVs, but we appreciate its smooth and refined ride quality and quiet cabin.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
The EPA estimates that the ID.4's optional 77.0-kWh battery pack is capable of holding enough juice to power the SUV up to 275 miles between charges, which puts it in the mix with other electric SUVs such as the Hyundai Kona Electric and the Kia Niro EV. Unfortunately for VW, that's less than the 330 miles of EPA estimated range for the Tesla Model Y. The battery can be charged at home on 110- or 240-volt connections, of course, and it's also capable of DC fast-charging on the Pro, Pro S, and Pro S Plus. The cheaper Standard model sports a smaller 58-kWh battery and a shorter 208-mile driving range, but doesn't offer DC fast charging capability.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe
The EPA rates the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro S's fuel economy at 104 MPGe city and 89 MPGe highway; the rear-wheel-drive Pro model is slightly more efficient at 107 MPGe city, 91 MPGe highway. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route, the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 delivered 82 MPGe and sailed on for 190 miles. Note: we've found from our testing that EPA range numbers can overstate or understate the real-world highway range difference between EVs. Our testing was completed in near-freezing temperatures, which can drastically reduce driving range, so the 190-mile result is more impressive than it sounds. For more information about the ID.4's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
While the ID.4's interior is less flashy than the ID. Crozz Concept's cabin, which featured a retractable steering wheel and sliding rear doors, it still offers a contemporary design with high-tech features, ambient lighting, and generous cargo space. The interior design is uncluttered and playful; cloth seats with heat for the front occupants are standard but going with the Pro S model brings faux-leather upholstery along with 12-way power adjustable front seats with a memory function. The ID.4's cargo area is quite spacious. We managed to fit eight carry-on suitcases behind the ID.4's rear seat and 26 total with the rear seats folded.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The ID.4 comes standard with a 12.0-inch infotainment touchscreen. The infotainment interface is VW's latest and greatest, but we've found it to be fussier than the previous generation software that's still available in models such as the Jetta sedan and the Tiguan SUV. Navigation is standard and so are wireless versions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All ID.4 models also come with a 5.3-inch reconfigurable digital gauge display and voice-recognition capability.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The electrified VW offers a host of standard and optional driver-assistance technology. For more information about the ID.4's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Volkswagen currently offers an above-average limited warranty and below-average powertrain coverage compared with rival non-luxury brands, but it offers two years or 20,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance. The ID.4's electric components are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Battery components are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for two years or 20,000 miles
2021 Volkswagen ID.4
Vehicle type: mid-motor, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED
$45,190 (base price: $41,190)
permanent-magnet synchronous AC
liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 77.0 kWh
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 13.4-in vented disc/11.0-in drum
Tires: Bridgestone Alenza A/S, F: 235/50R-20 104T M+S + R: 255/45R-20 105T M+S +
Wheelbase: 108.9 in
Length: 180.5 in
Width: 72.9 in
Height: 64.4 in
Passenger volume: 101 ft3
Curb weight: 4698 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 7.6 sec
100 mph: 26.0 sec
1/4 mile: 16.0 sec @ 86 mph
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 7.6 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.0 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.8 sec
Top speed (governor limited): 100 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 166 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.85 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 80 MPGe
75-mph highway driving: 82 MPGe
Highway range: 190 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 97/104/89 MPGe
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD
Vehicle Type: front- and mid-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
Base/As Tested: $44,870/$49,370
Options: Pro S, $5000; Gradient package, $1500
Motors: 2 permanent-magnet synchronous AC, 107 and 201 hp, 119 and 228 lb-ft
Combined Power: 295 hp
Combined Torque: 339 lb-ft
Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 77.0 kWh
Onboard Charger: 11.0 kW
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 13.4-in vented disc/11.0-in drum
Tires: Bridgestone Alenza Sport A/S
235/50R-20 104T M+S AO +
Wheelbase: 108.7 in
Length: 180.5 in
Width: 72.9 in
Height: 65.1 in
Passenger Volume: 101 ft3
Cargo Volume: 30 ft3
Curb Weight: 4884 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 5.4 sec
1/4-Mile: 14.1 sec @ 99 mph
100 mph: 14.5 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 5.5 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.3 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.2 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 112 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 171 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.82 g
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Combined/City/Highway: 96/103/88 MPGe
Range: 240 mi